KENTA: “If This Doesn’t Pan Out, I’m Done”

KENTA will face Kota Ibushi on the first night of the G1.


KENTA spent from 2000 to 2014 earning a reputation in Pro Wrestling NOAH. After signing with WWE in 2014, however, things took a different turn for his career. Wrestling as Hideo Itami, KENTA struggled to find a place in NXT or 205 Live. He will take part in this summer’s G1 for NJPW, however, and will open the tournament in Dallas against Kota Ibushi. released part II of an interview with KENTA where he spoke about his decision to sign with NJPW and compete in the G1.

“If you look at wrestling all over the world of late, there isn’t another tournament that’s as tough, as rigorous as this one,” KENTA said of the G1. “To come out on top of it all, that’s a tremendous, tremendous achievement. Incredibly difficult, but if I were able to make my mark and get results there, then that will instantly put me on the global map. It’s a huge opportunity.”

KENTA also talked about his decision to sign with NJPW during the interview.

“‘I chose to come here after a lot of thought,” KENTA said. “Quite frankly, if this doesn’t pan out, I’m done.”


KENTA also spoke about the difference between the pro-wrestling scene in Japan now and in 2014 when he left.

Like I said before, I’ve been away from Japan for five years now. Everything is different now. The wrestlers themselves are different, and this whole business is different. I’m really not equipped to talk about a lot of the scene now. As an example, in Japan, there’s been this term ‘pu-joshi’ to talk about all the female fans who love pro wrestling lately. That word didn’t exist when I was here last.”

The full interview can be read here.